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Bennett finishes second as Van Aert clinches back-to-back Dauphine stage victories

The Team Bora–Hansgrohe rider finished just behind the Belgian, while Britain’s Adam Yates remains in the leader’s yellow jersey.

Wout van Aert wins his second consecutive stage at the Criterium Du Dauphine.
Wout van Aert wins his second consecutive stage at the Criterium Du Dauphine.
Image: Imago/PA Images

WOUT VAN AERT won a second successive stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Thursday with victory on day five as Britain’s Adam Yates remained in the leader’s yellow jersey.

Jumbo Visma’s van Aert, wearing the green jersey as he sits on top of the points leaderboard, repeated his success in Wednesday’s individual time trial after 201km of racing that finished in the town of Voiron at the foot of the Alps.

“Everything’s working this week,” Van Aert said.

“The real mountains are arriving. They’re no longer hills but real mountain passes. I’ll do my best but they’re not for me,” he added.

Ireland’s Sam Bennett was inches behind 24-year-old van Aert followed by France’s Julian Alaphilippe in third.

Yates, who finished second overall at last year’s Dauphine, retains his slender four-second advantage over Bahrain-Merida’s Dylan Teuns in second in the general leaderboard.

He said he was planning to race conservatively in Friday’s sixth stage considering the final climb up the Col de Beaune.

“The descent could be crucial but it won’t be worth risking your life just to win 10 seconds,” Yates said.

Every stage will be difficult from here on in and the two last ones will be short and intense.”

Three-time winner Chris Froome was ruled out of the race as well as this year’s Tour de France after a high-speed crash on Wednesday and had surgery on fractures to his thigh bone, pelvis, ribs and elbow in a French hospital.

“Chris Froome has the morale of a winner and is very rapidly bouncing back,” said Remi Philippot, chief surgeon for sports trauma at Saint-Etienne hospital.

He started asking immediately when he could get back on his bike. He should be back racing in about six months.”

Thursday’s late breakaway trio of Italy’s Alessandro De Marchi and France’s Stephane Rossetto and Yoann Bagot were caught by the chasing pack with less than a kilometre to go.

The front of the race, which the three had dominated from the 170km-mark, had originally held a lead of 2min 10sec over the peloton with 80km to go but it was windled down slowly to barely half a minute with 10km remaining.

Friday’s sixth and longest stage heads 229km from Saint-Vulbas into the Alps finishing in Saint-Michel-Du-Maurienne and includes a steep climb 7.5km from the finish line.

© – AFP 2019

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